The American Feed Industry Association (AFIA) issued a statement regarding the confirmation of Wilbur Ross as the Department of Commerce's secretary.

"The American Feed Industry Association welcomes Wilbur Ross as the Department of Commerce's secretary,” Joel G. Newman, president and CEO of AFIA. “AFIA intends to work closely with the DOC moving forward--US trade efforts, including animal food, are expected to now fall under its diction--and will support the secretary in the promotion and enforcement of laws regarding fair trade and open markets for US products.

"International trade offers the greatest potential for the US animal food industry's future growth--both direct feed and ingredient exports and the increased overseas sale of US livestock, poultry and dairy products. In 2016, our industry's exports exceeded US$11 billion in feed, feed ingredients and pet food, and our industry's job opportunities contributed to the 17.3 million American jobs attributed to agriculture.

"It is important for Sec. Ross to understand how international markets are key for continued development and success of the US feed industry. The agriculture industry, specifically the animal food sector, must be a priority when determining administrative trade policy. If not, our ability to advance will be diminished. It is now Sec. Ross and the Department of Commerce's job to protect our industry from unfair global practices, including violations of intellectual property rights. AFIA hopes this is a job he gives the proper attention to.

"AFIA, on behalf of industry, asks Sec. Ross to collaborate and cooperate with the various pieces of the federal trade policy puzzle, including the USDA and USTR, to keep all agricultural exports strong in the face of intense global competition and globally weak commodity prices.

"AFIA looks forward to working with Sec. Ross, and the secretary of agriculture, to ensure the international trade needs, concerns and interests of the US feed industry are represented and taken into consideration in broader administrative trade policy strategies led by the Commerce Department."